ABOVE: The smile is fake…kneeling on cardboard in a field of strawberries is painful when you’re over 40!
On, what felt like, the hottest day of summer, Mark and I took a drive into farm country to pick organic strawberries and raspberries. The farm was amazing, the berries sweet and beautiful. I don’t believe anything smells as wonderful as a field of fresh berries.
I used to be more of a raspberry girl, but after this experience, I have to admit my love for the strawberry has threatened my loyal relationship to the raspberry. It’s okay, I have enough love in my heart for both.
There were a few pickers there ahead of us. Most of them were wearing Asian conical rice hats. I had never thought about how perfect those hats work at keeping the sun out of your face. I took a mental note to search the International District for a rice hat. For some reason, after we entered the field, everybody left. We were on this huge farm and had it all to ourselves.
The weather was a little warmer than we are used to. The temperatures were in the low 90s—ouch! We hadn’t planned this trip, it was a last minute decision after visiting fruit stands and not being satisfied with the price of berries at our local produce stands.
For organic pick-your-own berries I found the price of $1.20 lb pretty reasonable. We managed to pick 12 pounds of strawberries (a very full flat) and 8 pounds of raspberries. Needless to say, we were pretty heat exhausted after picking, so we raced home, drank a ton of water, showered, and passed out. I kept the berries stored in a fridge I keep out in the cottage until we were rested enough to start working with them.
There are numerous strawberry recipes available from numerous sources. I was a bit overwhelmed with ideas, but I managed to squeeze in some new ideas and recipes before I ran out of strawberries.
If you like waffles, pancakes, scones, and muffins–you’re going to love them with Strawberry Butter. Strawberry Butter is one of the easiest recipes to prepare. Yet, the sweetness of the fresh berries and richness of the butter, on a waffle, is over the top!
This is like a “10” on the WOW scale!
1 pint fresh strawberries
1/2 lb butter, room temperature
1 cup powdered sugar
Beat butter and sugar together till smooth and well combined.
Stir in finely chopped strawberries. ( I left mine a bit chunky)
Chill in fridge. Use within a week or freeze in serving small containers, molds, or roll into logs and wrap in plastic and until ready to use.
You can also chill them on a baking sheet and use a mini cookie cutter and cut out little pats of butter in different shapes.
You can’t have the strawberry butter on the waffles without the strawbery syrup! Most recipes I found called for corn syrup. I really didn’t want to use corn syrup, so I basically cooked strawberries down with sugar until it was quite bubbly and thick. You can freeze this syrup as well, and it makes a great sauce for strawberry shortcakes and cheesecakes too.
Strawberry Butter, Strawberry Freezer jam, and Syrup
If you’ve made apple butter you know how time consuming it is–the same goes for the canned Strawberry Butter–which is NOT the same thing as the fresh strawberry butter shown in the first photo. It is simply a more concentrated cooked down strawberry pulp with the juice removed. If you don’t mind stirring over a hot stove for what seems like forever, go for it! It tastes great. Of course nothing beats freezer jam—tastes like fresh berries everytime. I use Sure-Jell pectin box with recipe inside.
I also discovered a new favorite strawberry dessert which I’ll post next!